What to Look for When Buying High-Quality Cannabis Flower

Cannabis flower, also known as buds, nugs, or weed, is the part of a marijuana plant that gets consumed. It contains cannabinoids and terpenes.

High-quality cannabis flowers have a strong aroma. They can smell like refreshing citrus, spicy pine, or skunky diesel. The scent is often the first thing consumers notice when choosing a flower.


Whether you are buying cannabis flowers, also known as buds, nugs, or broccoli, it is crucial to understand how to distinguish high-quality products from low-quality. Cannabis connoisseurs use various methods to determine quality, including smell, touch, and color. While learning these tips will help you make a significant purchase, there is no substitute for lab testing results – they provide the most demonstrable information about cannabinoid and terpene profiles and a contaminant screen.

The first and most obvious indicator of high-quality cannabis flower is the aroma. When a flower is adequately cultivated, cured, and stored, it emits a solid and pleasing scent. Consumers often describe the smell as earthy, woody, fruity, or citrusy. A musty or mildew odor is a dead giveaway that the cannabis was contaminated with mold during curing.

Other telltale signs of high-quality cannabis include frosty buds coated in glistening white trichomes. When a bud is frosted with trichomes, it has been well taken care of and is rich in cannabinoid and terpene compounds. Low-quality bud may need to include these glistening crystals, or it might have a rough texture that indicates the bud was trimmed with machines rather than by hand. These glistening trichomes secrete the aromatic oils that give cannabis its distinct scent and flavor.


With many legal brick-and-mortar cannabis shops and numerous online retailers like WholesomeCo, it’s no surprise that the wide selection of marijuana products can confuse or intimidate newcomers. Whether you’re searching for sativa-dominant strains that stimulate the mind and increase energy or indica varieties that help ease body pain and induce a calmer state, your MMJ doctor or dispensary staff can assist you in selecting flower with an aroma and flavor that suits your palate and preferences.

The aroma of high-quality cannabis is the most obvious indicator that a product is worth its price tag. The fragrant molecules of terpenoids, the cannabinoids and essential oils that give flowers their distinct flavor and effects, are preserved by trichomes, which appear crystal-like on a plant’s surface and are easily detectable with the nose. A strong aroma typically indicates a higher potency and trichome density, while a musky or musty smell suggests low-quality, old, or poorly cured flowers.

The look of a nug is another critical indicator of quality. Bright, glistening buds coated in frosty white trichomes indicate fresh, healthy cannabis that has been adequately cultivated and cured to maximize flavor and effectiveness. A dark green color is ideal, with some nuances of purple or pink adding to the appeal, while a brownish hue could mean mold or pesticides have spoiled the batch. A dense and tight bud structure is also desirable, while a looser appearance often signals laziness in trimming or improper cultivation methods.


How cannabis is grown, cared for, cut, and packaged has a massive effect on the experience that cannabis provides. While many different factors contribute to the quality of a cannabis product, including its aroma profile, cannabinoid and terpene content, and type of high or wellness benefits, there are some common traits that most people can recognize in good and bad cannabis flowers.

The high-end flower is aesthetically pleasing and has an overall appealing appearance. High-quality buds are often deep green and may have flaming orange or red hairs. They are also dense and sticky. In contrast, low-quality weed is dry and brittle to the touch. It will crumble easily in your hand and may even fall apart. Its color will also be a clear indicator of its age. If the buds are dirty or a darker shade of brown, they have likely gone bad.

It is important to remember that even the best cannabis will degrade with time. This is especially true if it is stored improperly. While proper storage will delay the degradation of the terpenes, nothing can stop it completely. Therefore, buying the highest-quality bud you can afford and consuming it before it goes wrong is best. This will provide you with the most flavorful and potent buds possible.


The way that cannabis looks can tell you a lot about its quality. A good-quality bud should look frosty with an even layer of crystals. This layer, known as the trichome coating, is where all the precious cannabinoids and terpenes reside. A bud with an uneven layer of trichomes may have been mishandled or rushed through the trimming process. This could result in a dry, crumbly texture or low potency.

The color of a bud can also be an indicator of its quality. Low-quality buds will often have dirt brown to lime-green color and be full of seeds, stems, and discolored buds. This can be due to age, mold, pesticides, or chemicals and is a sign that you should not purchase it. Another indicator of low-quality flowers is if the trichomes on the bud have turned from clear to amber. This means the bud has been sitting out too long and is likely last year’s harvest.

With so many factors that go into deciding whether or not a particular batch of cannabis is high-quality, it can be challenging for new consumers to know what to look for when purchasing cannabis. However, with some simple tips, anyone can distinguish between good and lousy marijuana and find the perfect buds for their needs.

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